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>> Steak?>> The search is on for a new Chipotle CEO after co-founder Steve Ells announced Wednesday that he would step down from his long time post at the Mexican fast food chain after failing to turn it around from a string of food safety lapses. Ells, who has held or shared the CEO role since founding Chipotle in 1993, said in a statement that bringing in a new CEO is the right thing to do for all our stakeholders.
Chipotle shares rose nearly 3% on Wednesday, a much-needed boost for the company whose stock has more than halved in value since the first reports of a major E.coli outbreak linked to its restaurants in October of 2015. The company was also hit by cases of salmonella poisoning and norovirus stomach bugs, sparking a number of free food promos along with new food safety and training measures.
Despite that, food safety concerns have pushed away many hungry customers, prompting the company to search for a quote, new leader with demonstrated turnaround expertise. Ells will stay on as Executive Chairman and will join a search committee for a new CEO.